This summer, the Norman Rockwell Museum presents the first comprehensive exhibition to look at the work of master illustrators Maxfield Parrish, N. C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell in relation to the history of Western art. With more than 60 works by 25 American and European painters, along with more than 300 digital representations of some 50 other artists, “Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell, and the Narrative Tradition” reveals the lineage connecting American illustration to some 500 years of European painting through the long line of teachers who have passed along their wisdom, knowledge, and techniques to generations of creators.
Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, the exhibition is curated by Dennis Nolan, an award-winning artist and professor of illustration at Hartford Art School, University of Hartford.
Nolan states, “Telling stories in pictures — whether the vehicle is an altarpiece, a ceiling fresco, a canvas, or an illustrated book — transcends the limits of written and spoken language and is the most powerful way to express and comment on our shared experiences and multifaceted lives. The artists represented in this exhibition told their stories with clarity and an expertise that had been nurtured and maintained through the centuries by the artist/teachers, the keepers of the flame.”
Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt adds, “Every artist-teacher passes on to their pupils a certain way of seeing and drawing the world, creating a distinctive lineage. This groundbreaking exhibition traces the traditions of European painting that crossed the ocean to tutor America’s most famous illustrators, linking centuries past with the present while unveiling the alchemy of artists and their teachers. Together, the works in ‘Keepers of the Flame’ provide a unique and important view of a particular line of picture-making, demonstrating the importance of the connections of American illustrators to the Western tradition.”
“Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell, and the Narrative Tradition” is on view June 9 through October 28, 2018. For more information, please visit www.nrm.org.